The 2015 James Beard Award Finalists were announced this morning. Philadelphia area chefs Marc Vetri, Joe Cicala (Le Virtu), Rich Landau (Vedge), Greg Vernick (Vernick Food + Drink) and Alex Bois (High Street on Market) all moved onto the final in their respective categories.
Vetri is a finalist for Outstanding Chef. He is joined in the category by Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, NYC; Sean Brock, Husk, Charleston, SC; and Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles.
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Today at noon, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its 2015 Restaurant and Chef Awards.
Abe Fisher and Townsend were Best New Restaurant nominees. Michael Solomonov and Marc Vetri got nods for Outstanding Chef and Ellen Yin’s new restaurant group received three nominations. Fork was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant and Alex Bois (High Street on Market) and Jon Nodler (a.kitchen) received rising stars nominations.
The nominees »
Serious Eats wasn’t very impressed with the state of Philadelphia’s cheesesteak scene but is a big fan of our roast pork sandwiches. Features Editor Niki Achitoff-Gray tried 14 of them recently and came up with her best six.
It’s a pretty good list, we just wish it were easier to find ANY roast pork sandwich after nightfall.
Serious Eats Best Roast Pork Sandwiches in Philadelphia »
Ardmore has become a beer geeks destination with the rise of Tired Hands Brewing. The tiny brewery was just named to First We Feast’s 12 Bucket-List Breweries That Every Beer Lover Should Visit. The Main Line town has some other things happening as well. The eleventh Iron Hill Brewery location, grandly opened on Sunday at 44 Greenfield Avenue, just a block from Tired Hands. And speaking of Tired Hands, the brewery continues to make progress on its second Ardmore location. The larger location’s brewhouse was just delivered yesterday and the brewery will open in the first half of 2015.
The Saint James is closing. The much ballyhooed restaurant from Rob Wasserman (Rouge, 500º) and Michael Schulson (Sampan, Izakaya) opened in 2012 but was slammed by critics. Schulson left the partnership earlier this year and Wasserman will close the restaurant on December 30th. Michael Klein reports that the space will undergo six weeks of renovations before producing what Wasserman says will be a “‘very family-friendly'” restaurant.
More on the Main Line »
Sam Kincaid | Photo by Jason Varney, via UWISHUNU
We know Food & Wine is already a big fan of Eli Kulp, having named him Best New Chef back in April. Now they’ve named Fork’s pastry chef, Samantha Kincaid as one of the Best New Pastry Chefs in America. Kincaid was one of five named by the magazine.
Congrats to Kincaid and the entire Fork team.
Best New Pastry Chefs in America [Food & Wine]
Rival Bros Coffee from Cinema Mercantile on Vimeo.
The “culinary storytelling website Life & Thyme has a video about Rival Bros. Coffee founders Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggi and how they got from high school friends till today.
Rival Bros. Coffee [Foobooz]
Rival Bros. Coffee Roasters [Life & Thyme]
Meatballs at Pizzeria Stella
Travel + Leisure Magazine recently named Pizzeria Stella’s Polpette dish and Zahav’s Bulgarian-style meatballs as two of their picks for Best Meatballs in America.
Pizzeria Stella’s meatballs are created from a mix of pork, veal and beef, ricotta, bread and fresh herbs. Roasted in Stella’s wood-fired oven, these little guys are then finished in a simple sauce of San Marzano tomatoes and olive oil.
Zahav’s meatballs are made with equal parts beef and lamb, then cooked over charcoal. But as T&L puts it, the touches that really make them pop is sugar for a hint of sweetness.
Well done, Philly.
Best Meatballs in America [Travel + Leisure]
Pizzeria Stella [Foobooz]
Coren at Vedge. He called Vedge, “the best vegan cooking I have ever had.”
Times of London restaurant critic Giles Coren was in Philadelphia this spring filming his TV show Million Dollar Critic for Canada’s WNetwork. The show visited five Philadelphia restaurants in order for Coren to bestow one of them with his million dollar recommendation (because the review could be worth more than a million dollars in business).
Coren visited Vedge, Cheu Noodle Bar, Avenue Delicatessen, The Mildred (now closed) and Kanella. In the end, Coren heaped the most praise on Kanella, the Cypriot BYOB by Konstantinos Pistillides.
Kanella is the sort of place I wish I could review every week: a buzzing local taverna on a lively city corner, people of all ages and ethnicities sitting at outside tables, simply decorated inside, full of laughter, friends and family, and charming staff serving a cuisine rooted deeply in a foreign culture rather than just ripping it off, with a deadly serious chef at the helm.
Read the full review of Kanella on Huffington Post’s Canadian edition.
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Seventeen medals, including seven gold were brought home by local brewers this weekend from the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. Earth Bread + Brewery, Fegley’s Brew Works, Flying Fish, Sly Fox, Tröegs and Victory each were among the gold medal winners. Also a winner in its first year of existence, Barren Hill Tavern and Brewery.
Iron Hill also had a strong showing with three medals including two from its Media, PA location.
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The Montreal-smoked short ribs at Abe Fisher
Food Republic’s Matt Rodbard has been a fan of Zahav and its lamb shoulder for some time now. But now he might have a new favorite dish in town, the Montreal-smoked short ribs at Abe Fisher.
Yes, the result is tender. Incredibly tender, in a way that an unctuous short rib should be after this much love and attention (the tougher brisket cut is the typical protein used in this type of smoking). But it’s also deeply smoked and sliced perfectly to reveal a shade of prime rib pink I’d never seen with smoked meat. Our party of five ate in near-silence (the poor vegetarian sixth was left hanging for the eight minutes it took us to polish off the platters — there were two of them involved).
An order of the Montreal-smoked short ribs at Abe Fisher feeds four and is served up with rye bread and garnishes. There are currently only two orders available a night, so make your reservations for early.
Philadelphia Restaurant Abe Fisher Has Possibly Achieved Smoked Meat Nirvana [Food Republic]
Abe Fisher [Foobooz]